Enchantings: A Cultural Biography of the Postcolonial African State

This event has passed.

University Club, Room 212
@ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Portrait image of Tejumola Olaniyan outdoors in front of green plants wearing a white shirt and glasses.

Monday Seminar:

Tejumola Olaniyan

Senior Fellow (2007-2011; 2012-2013)

African Languages and Literature; English, UW-Madison


The seminar is an inquiry into the relations between the postcolonial African state and selected cultural forms, practices, and institutions its peculiar constitutive features engendered. It will also explore how the forms and practices generate and circulate a certain image of the state, and impact the state’s self-understanding and performance. The “engendering” is bi-directional, no less, maybe more My goals are to account for the sociopolitical underpinning of postcolonial African cultural forms, and to construct a “cultural biography” of the postcolonial African state in order to advance the epistemological process of understanding it.


Tejumola Olaniyan, IRH Senior Fellow, is the Louise Durham Mead Professor of English and African Languages at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the founding chair of the African Diaspora and the Atlantic World Research Circle (2003-2010), and currently co-chairs the Music, Race, and Empire Research Circle. His research interests include African, African diaspora, and postcolonial literature and cultural studies. He has published widely in these areas, including Arrest the Music!: Fela and His Rebel Art and Politics (2004, 2009; nominated for Best Research in World Music by the Association for Recorded Sound Collections in 2005), Scars of Conquest/Masks of Resistance: The Invention of Cultural Identities in African, African American and Caribbean Drama (1995), and co-editor of African Literature: An Anthology of Criticism and Theory (2007, with Ato Quayson), African Drama and Performance (2004, with John Conteh-Morgan), and African Diaspora and the Disciplines (2010, with James H. Sweet). One of his current projects is a book, Political Cartooning in Africa, forthcoming from Indiana University Press, and an online encyclopedia of African political cartoonists.